A New NewYorker.com

The New Yorker has radically changed their website and will lift paywalls this summer before trying a metered paywall this fall.

That they thought this line was funny tells you everything you need to know about The New Yorker.

For months, our editorial and tech teams have been sardined into a boiler room, subsisting only on stale cheese sandwiches and a rationed supply of tap water, working without complaint on intricate questions of design, functionality, access, and what is so clinically called “the user experience.”

“Who hates Jony Ive’s iOS7? Publishers, that’s who”

This article speculates that iOS 7 is indirectly responsible for the decline of Newsstand readers. It argues that users can easily hide Newsstand and forget it.

I’m not so sure that’s the reason. I got Newsstand fatigue well before iOS 7 was even announced. It had nothing to do with the apps or design. It had everything to do with content, whether from magazines that were completely digital or could come to me in the mail.

After a while I just thought many of them aren’t worth paying for.

What’s also strange, in the case of The Magazine, is I still have the app in my newsstand. I unsubscribed at issue 12 – as of this writing they’re on issue 30. For whatever reason the publisher has decided not to let non-subscribers see what’s in the latest issue. So I don’t even look. They could have won me back 18 times by now.

“Instapaper, Ars Technica and Money Dollars”

I also read John Siracusa’s Mountain Lion review, in Instapaper, after having saved it through Safari.

If you go to the article there are a ton of options for reading it, and paying for it, however you prefer, like as an ePub or as a Kindle book. But if you use Instapaper you may not be so inclined to do that.

My justification, even if it’s flawed, is that I don’t go nuts over these reviews. I appreciate them, but I’ll skip entire sections that I’m not that interested in. If you’re one of these guys you may dissect the entire thing and get your money’s worth.

Penguin Cuts off ebook Library Lending

WTF?

Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of eBooks and download audiobooks for library purchase. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer, then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps.

Translation: We want you to support us in the same way you have been for years, by buying buy our books, and purchasing physical copies for your libraries, because we just don’t want to change. We will encourage this behavior by making eBook lending as inconvenient as we can make it.

Benefit of the doubt; is Penguin just being a party pooper for no good reason, or is the Overdrive/Amazon lending model the Spotify of the publishing industry?

Confessions of a Publisher

Long-term there’s no future in printed books. They’ll be like vinyl: pricey and for collectors only. 95% of people will read digitally. Everybody in publishing knows this but most are in denial about it because moving to becoming a digital company means laying off like 40% of our staffs. And the barriers to entry fall, too. We simply don’t want to think about it.

Amazon is thinking about it, though, and they’re targeting the publishers directly.